Magnetic domain structures and stray fields of individual elongated magnetite grains revealed by magnetic force microscopy (MFM)

Cathrine Frandsen, S. L. S. Stipp, S. A. McEnroe, M. B. Madsen, J. M. Knudsen

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

In order to clarify the relationship between microscopic and macroscopic magnetic features of a rock, we applied magnetic force microscopy (MFM) as a local probe on a sample with an intense natural remanent magnetisation, a norite from Heskestad, Norway. We studied in detail seven magnetite (Fe3O4) exsolution lamellae, five of them were about 30 mum long and a few micrometers wide, two were significantly shorter; all were located in their natural host, a grain of clinopyroxene. By combining MFM images of surface magnetisation with information about shape observed with optical microscopy (OM), the internal domain structure was determined for individual grains. In general, the lamellae were pseudo-single-domain grains with open-flux domain magnetisations parallel to their long axes. The domain sizes were, in cross-section, on the order of a micrometer for the longer lamellae and about 300 nm for the short lamellae. By increasing the separation between the MFM probe and the exposed end of the lamellae, information could be obtained about the decrease in stray fields for the individual grains. Close to the lamellae, stray fields were significant even for grains with multiple domains. The largest fields were found above the largest domains. A separation of approximately one domain width was found to be a characteristic distance, where stray fields from adjacent domains begin to cancel one another. (C) 2004 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPhysics of the Earth and Planetary Interiors
Volume141
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)121-129
ISSN0031-9201
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2004

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